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Showing posts from November, 2018

Book Review: The Spirit Ring by Lois McMaster Bujold

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I recently finished reading this lesser-known work by Lois McMaster Bujold, better known for her multiple award winning series, the Vorkosigan Saga. She wanted to try her hand at a fantasy novel, set in an alternate-reality Renaissance Italy. Apparently, it wasn't a very big success. I find this strange because I absolutely adored it!
Fiametta Beneforte, daughter and unofficial apprentice to a powerful artificer-wizard, and Thur Ochs, a Swiss miner whose main talent is how immensely reasonable he is, meet when Montefoglia is taken over by Uberto Ferrante, a neighbouring lord with a penchant for black magic. They have to save Montefoglia, but more importantly save the soul of Fiametta's father Prospero from an evil ritual.
McMaster Bujold has a lovely writing style. Chapters are alternately from Fiametta or Thur's point of view, and really help to illustrate two highly likeable characters. Either of them would be a wonderful PC for a Dragon Princes game. In addition, the bo…

Carnevale - Interlude: Farewell to Paolo

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After the party, the group returned to Paolo's new hideout, a former carpenter's home on the edge of the Distretto Bruciato that was still largely intact. There they discussed Gianetta's offer. They could not see any way of avoiding working with her, although no one trusted her at all. Matilde arrived before long and updated everyone on what she had found out with Niccolo about the Aboleth: a strange, mythical aquatic terror that might be what Carnelio was keeping in his basement.

When Paolo returned later that night, his reaction was not at all what the others were expecting. He had been helping out at the Grande Convento, which had been attacked by Morignus' marcenaries. Chiara told him about Gianetta, and Paolo's tune immediately changed. He withdrew his offer of shelter and said that he would have no further part in the coalition against the dragon, but would lie low until it was all over. Everyone felt extremely betrayed - none more than Adrianna, who decided …